Over at the Pink Chalk Studio blog, Kathy Mack talks about the three main trends she saw at Fall Quilt Market ’13. In particular, I want to call your attention to her discussion of the use of the word “modern” as Trend #1, and also to call your attention to “slower is better”, which discusses the production of new lines by fabric companies.
I want to extend that idea, here, and say that I think it may be an time for quilt bloggers to consider thinking about “slower is better” when it comes to producing work, where good work is better than lots of work, where the process and the time it takes to do it right (do those points really meet? When is close enough not good enough?) share equal weight with showing things on the platform, where the push to make things isn’t driven by showing off new lines and being timely for your sponsors all the time.
Would love to hear your thoughts. Have you noticed any trends, in general?
Oh thanks for sharing this. I jumped for joy when I read her “Modern” observations. Especially that no one owns the definition. Agree it is more an attitude than an aesthetic.
Right?? I got a strong feeling that people are looking for something beyond the “us or them” and the defining labels, and are more interested in creating a supportive community of all quilters. Of course, that could just be my rosy glasses after my experience at the Bad Ass Quilter’s Society networking thing, but there are so many people who are ready to just make what they love, for crying out loud, and just get on with it.
Thank you for your comments about your observation at Quilt Market. I’d like to add my observation as being “fresh” and “new” and “individual”, not just modern. I am a 20+ year quilter, which puts me in the elder generation (and that’s the FIRST time I’ve ever said or noticed that!). The new generation I observed a QM this year has really made a mark. Not just “modern”, but unique – their own style and proud of it, not just following the trends like lemmings. Doing what they do because they love it (“for crying out loud, and just get on with it”. Amen Mandy). I was absolutely blown away with this new generation – Cotton & Steel and all the speakers at the BAQS Networking Event. Thank you girls (now I’m really sounding like my Grandmother), you have added something completely wonderful to this industry and I am looking forward to seeing where it leads.
Kim, this is where I think you (and “your generation”) do yourself a disservice! You can still do what you want, make your voices heard, and just generally be the force in quilting that you want to be. It might be nice for that to happen, so that people see it really *is* about doing what you love and participating no matter what your personal style, as Leona said, it’s “more an attitude than an aesthetic.” I think that says a great deal about how anyone–and I really mean anyone–can participate how they wish. My goal? That everyone can explore the kind of work that makes them happy and challenges them, without having to worry about “fitting in”, which is such a mean-girl kind of thing.
On a side note, this is nothing really new. I went to an all-girl school, so in a field predominantly peopled by women, there’s been some interesting overlap for me. I am also super interested in how women’s work and “acceptable” competition over the last century or more have shaped the current quilt industry–when it was acceptable to compete with the “women’s fields”, how did that break down in reality? Who was entering, and winning? I bet there’s a lot to learn about who can have the time to make something for competition and where the social and economic divides fall, historically.
hooo boy that was rambling. let me know if it makes sense.
Kelly Wood says
I think “slower is better” is a good thing. There has been such an over-saturation of fabric lines, some even having the same name (Notting Hill-Robyn Pandolph/Joel Dewberry, anyone?). Did the marketing departments have their heads in the sand? The Scandinavian-simplicity trend also makes it hard to distinguish one fabric from another. So many of the current lines really look alike in motif and style. Not bad from the stand-point of using the patterns in a quilt, but not unique or individual. There is still way too much “jumping on the trend” bandwagon. The overwrought text prints (which I love!) being a recent one. The rapid speed of releases is preventing designers’ from truly finding their individual voices and palettes.A well-edited design beats multiple so-so designs.
Kathy’s recap was one of the best-written, most cohesive, least-sponsored I have ever seen! I printed it out to share with colleagues in my office, as we are required to do recaps at our shows.
As for the hazy definition of “modern”, I regard myself as a contemporary quilter. Modern is sometimes in my aesthetic, but I like a traditional approach to construction. I love pre-cuts and shortcuts, but I also strive to match my corners, if the quilt calls for it. That being said, whether one is a modern quilter or traditional quilter doesn’t matter, as long as you are a quilter!
Thanks for taking the time to write such a thoughtful comment! I agree with much of what you said. It makes me sad, though, that so often “modern” is equated with “poor construction”, which isn’t the case. I think that’s something that bears pondering though, since it is so prevalent.